ProfitShare Partners’ Andrew Maren on starting a business – and soaring

If you want to know about parenthood, speak to a parent. If you need to learn everything about cooking, talk to a chef. If you’re looking for information on starting a business, seek out a serial entrepreneur who started a highly successful and disruptive Fintech company that has helped hundreds of small businesses find their feet – and soar.

Andrew Maren is such an entrepreneur and one who is always happy to share his knowledge with kindred – entrepreneurial – spirits. “I believe it’s important for us to share our experiences in starting and running businesses,” says this CEO and founder of ProfitShare Partners, the Fintech company that makes access to cash simple for small businesses.

Here, Maren shares the basics of what it takes to create a business.

“ProfitShare Partners started with an idea and a ‘business plan’ jotted down on an airport restaurant serviette,” he says. “However, it was the idea and my unwavering belief in it that eventually saw the concept become a reality.”

Once you’ve determined that your idea is one that can fly, Maren says a robust Google search and talking to people in the industry will give you an idea about any competition you may face upfront.

“Not all competition is bad,” he notes, “but it is important to ensure you have a differentiator if someone else has already started a similar business.”

Your business model

Next, Maren suggests you sketch out your proposed business model: “Who your target market is and how you will reach it; what value you will provide for that market to ensure a customer base; where you are going to get funds from to set up your business; and any ideas about early costs and growth opportunities.”

The first draft likely to look totally different from the final business model you’ll use, he suggests. “Entrepreneurs understand that to create the best model, product or service, the idea needs to be noted, then questioned from every conceivable angle. Don’t fall in love with your initial idea to the degree that you won’t see how changing it can be beneficial,” Maren urges.

Your team

“If you’re going solo,” says Maren, “you’ll need your suppliers and service providers to be the team that enables all your initiatives. Look for the very best, even if their costs may be a little higher. Importantly, speak to some of their clients and find out the information that could make or break your business: Do they deliver, on time, as promised?”

If yours is a business that requires staff members, it may pay you to have a professional talent search company to assist with the important roles, to ensure you know their backgrounds, qualifications and work experience, he says.

Your funding

“Every start-up needs funding of some sort,” Maren says, “and this can be expensive in the long run, depending on how much you need and where you’ll access the money.” Here, he notes that some borrow against their homes if they feel they can meet the payments. “This isn’t always the best idea – by doing this, your new business and your home are both on the line. Speak to a financial professional and get unbiased advice.”

In the case of those who are fortunate enough to secure a signed order for their service or products, ProfitShare Partners will provide the cash injection needed, provided you meet certain requirements.

“The value in this is that, as a Fintech, ProfitShare Partners enables you to complete your application online, show proof of your order, and get a response in just a few days. This gives you a huge head-start for a new business, especially as our company doesn’t require your banking history or proof of previous sales to give you access to cash.”

Your timing

“Many a good idea has not taken off due to timing,” says Maren. “Some are too late to market, while many are too early. Make sure your target market is ready for your offering – and then launch it with zest.”

Launching a new company will require time and effort, and a marketing team that can get your business in front of the people you want as customers. “Hiring a team to assist with this is important, especially during your launch. Not advertising may save you a little money but will cost you in the long run. There is no such thing as ‘build it, and they will come,” he asserts. “If nobody knows you’re there, nobody can support you.”

The long game

Finally, Maren suggests any new company must understand the value of playing the long game. “This means every decision you make should be viewed according to today’s market and the market you see up ahead. It means looking for opportunities available right now and ones you can create that will bring value in a few years’ time.

“Be agile and flexible. Nobody can predict with absolute accuracy what the future will bring,” he notes. “The past few years have shown us that turbulence happens – whether it be a pandemic, a war in Europe, or load-shedding. This is where I’d remind you that good leaders shine during bad times.

“Keep looking at your business model and adapting it to endure current issues, with an eye on potential future issues. Never be afraid to make take calculated risks and make changes to your original business plan. And always,” he says, “ensure you communicate with your own staff, your suppliers, and your customers. In times like these, communication can be the one thing that truly sets you apart.”